Ben je begonnen met het leren van een nieuwe taal? Cool! Ook al kan het leren van een nieuwe taal soms lastig zijn. Hoe ik vroeger begon met het leren van een taal: ah oke, ik begin gewoon met dit megamoeilijke boek in het Spaans en ik vertaal alles wel. Meestal was de volgende stap dat ik het boek weglegde en nooit meer aan de taal dacht.

Have you started learning a new language? Cool! Although it can be hard sometimes. The way I used to start learning a language would be: ah ok, I’ll just read this really difficult book in Spanish and in that way learn the language. Mostly the next step would be to quit learning that language because it was too hard.

Misschien denk je aan je Duitse- en Franse les op de middelbare school, waar je zuchtend rijen met woordjes in je hoofd moest stampen. Ik had Duits en Frans op school, maar ik kan precies de basics. Hieronder lees je wat ik ontdekte over hoe je een taal makkelijk en leuk kan leren.

Or maybe you’re thinking about language class in your high school, where you were sighing (and crying) your way through endless rows of words. I get that. I myself had German and French in school, and my skills in them now are very basic. This is what I discovered makes learning a language easy and fun!

Veel praten / Speak a lot
Ik kan me niet herinneren dat ik ooit Engels heb gesproken tijdens de Engelse les op de middelbare school. Hoe leuk mijn docent ook was, ik dacht altijd dat ik slecht was in Engels, tot ik naar Australiƫ reisde en daar wel Engels moest spreken. In sommige taalklassen zul je nog steeds alle grammaticaregels leren, zonder een woord te spreken. Ik ben echter van mening dat als je een taal wil leren, je vooral moet spreken.

I don’t remember ever speaking English in my English classes in high school. Even though I had the nicest teacher, I thought I was terrible in English until I traveled to Australia and was forced to speak the language to be able to express myself. And still in some language classes you’ll learn all the grammar rules of the language, without speaking even one word. Not in my classes! I will even be silent most of the time, because you’ll do the talking šŸ˜‰

But seriously – if you don’t even dare speaking in class, how are you going to do it outside of the class? Every lesson we’ll expand your vocabulary so we’ll be able to have little conversations.

Learning in context
Again – back to high school, where I’d have exams to test my knowledge of words in the new language. Again – not my style. Not only do I not believe in exams (they’ll make you nervous and they won’t guarantee me that you’ll actually be able to speak), also I think you shouldn’t be learning words separatly.

That’s because there’s a much easier way to expand your vocabulary: seeing the words in context. I love methods that offer little stories that build up and up, so you can see and understand in what context words are used. Combined with using the words to talk about different topics, I believe this is a much better way to learn a language.

Focus on topics you’re interested in and that you’ll actually use
Don’t force yourself to read about boring topics, convinced that’s what you need to learn the language. Nahh! We’ll focus on things that interest you and that you can actually use in real life.

Photocredits: Tomasz Baranowski